Rachael was a blind date set up for me by a mutual friend. I was recently out of a long-term relationship, and thought that meeting new people would help me move on. I spoke to Rachael briefly on the phone to coordinate, and we set up a date at a restaurant for later that week. She sounded very excited over the phone, came across as a good conversationalist, and I couldn't wait to meet her.
I picked her up at her place and drove us to the restaurant. I'm not exaggerating when I maintain that from the instant she saw me, she smiled, and she did not stop smiling the whole time. At first it was nice, but it soon became downright ghoulish. It was as if she had a botox accident that left her with a permanent grin. However, I soon discovered that she had a matching personality.
No matter what I said, from "I had a good day," to "I think you look great," she answered some variant of, "Oh my God, that is so awesome! I can't believe how super that is."
After we were seated at the restaurant, I asked, "Have you ever been to this place before?"
"No," Rachael said, "But already it's the coolest place I've ever been to." She swung her head around, taking in the average decor as if she was high.
Swear to God, I said at one point that I had to go to the bathroom, and her response was, "That's so awesome. I am so jealous!"
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, and I said, "You're very excited. About everything."
She answered, "Because everything is exciting!"
I cracked a smile and jokingly (kind of) asked, "When we're done, you want to come back to my place?"
She widened her already-huge smile and said, "That would be so not awesome!"
I asked her, "Then what would be awesome?"
She said, "Anything but! I'm in a great mood, but I'm not stupid."
I asked, "Are you always so peppy?"
She replied, "Only when people don't ask me why I'm so peppy. Happiness isn't a disease, and it's okay to be happy all the time. In fact, I think you're the one with the problem. You've barely smiled at all tonight."
I smiled. "I think I've smiled an average amount."
She pointed to her face and said, "This is an average amount. Don't stop smiling, now."
I kept the smile on my face until the waitress came by to clear off our plates, mostly because I didn't want to look like an idiot. When the waitress left, Rachael said to me, "You stopped smiling. That's so not awesome."
"Take me home, you not-awesome guy."
"Okay." I played along, as interacting with someone so manic was exhausting. I drove her home with hardly a word, but she kept a big, toothy smile on her face the entire time. Nearing her house, I asked her, "Are you like this around your friends, too?"
"Yes," she said, "They love how happy and smiley I am."
We made it to her place, she said, "Bye!" jumped out of the car, waved at me, and grinned all the way back to her house and out of sight. I drove away, imagining her smiling her way into pajamas, brushing her teeth, reading a book, turning off her bedside light, and smiling into her sleep, where her body would finally relax and her smile would dissolve away until called upon at dawn to begin a new day of glory and sunshine.